Pierre Fresnay


Born: Paris, France, 4 April 1897.
Died: Neuilly-sur-Seine, France, 1975.

On the stage from age 15, he made his first of many appearances with the Comédie Française in 1915, the year in which he also made his screen debut. He became established as a leading stage actor in the 20s, but it wasn’t until the early 30s that he became an important film personality, after portraying the title role in Marius (1931). He later played the leads in two other Pagnol screen adaptations, Fanny and César, and in many other distinguished French films, memorably in Jean Renoir’s La Grande Illusion / Grand Illusion and Henri-Georges Clouzot’s Le Corbeau / The Raven. In all he appeared in some 60 films, in addition to numerous plays. He was married to Yvonne Printemps, his frequent co-star on the stage and on the screen.

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